Demography is the scientific study of human population. Because personal behavior "scales up" into population trends, and population trends "scale down" to impact individuals, demography touches all facets of life. This makes demography a versatile tool for analyzing a broad range of social and economic issues. Irvine's Concentration in Demographic and Social Analysis (DASA) offers graduate training in the practical research skills needed to address analytical problems confronting society, business, government, and the nonprofit sector.
DASA is program of the School of Social Sciences. Its curricula and faculty are supported by resources from within this interdisciplinary School. General direction is provided by an external Board of Professional Advisors, composed of distinguished applied demographers.
According to independent evaluations (by the National Research Council, for example, or U.S. News and World Report), the Irvine campus ranks among the nation's elite public universities. Founded in1965, its two-square-mile campus is situated among coastal foothills about mid-way between Los Angeles and San Diego. The surrounding city of Irvine is part of Orange County, the second most populous county in the State, totaling nearly 3 million inhabitants. County population has grown steadily (about 1.8% annually over the last decade), fueled by births and by domestic and international in-migration. In the most recent census, about 1/2 of county residents self-identified as White (but not Hispanic), another 1/3 as Hispanic, and 1/8 as Asian or Pacific Islander. The county labor force is similarly diverse, with conspicuous representation in information technology and tourism, and corresponding extremes of personal wealth and poverty. These county and regional patterns are reflected in DASA's faculty expertise, which includes (among many other subjects) immigration, households and families, social and economic inequalities, public health, housing, transportation, and the impacts of local and regional population growth.
When DASA admitted its first M.A. students in 1999, we created something unique: a graduate program that imparts the essentials of applied demography in just three academic quarters. Thus we seek highly qualified students who can make the most of an intense, one-year investment. In its brief history, DASA alumni have already used their training toward an impressive array of accomplishments: successful job searches, advancement in existing careers, and admission to doctoral programs in other disciplines such as gerontology, sociology, and epidemiology. I invite your participation and support.
From the past four years, we have alumni who have gone on to work in the private sector at Del Taco, MFour Mobile Research, Connexity, Northwestern Mutual, and the National Football League, and the California Charter Schools Association. Students in the public sector are at the U.S. Census Bureau (2 students) and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Other students are working at nonprofits, including United Friends of the Children and World Education Services. Recent graduates pursuing the academic route are in Ph.D. programs at UCLA, University of Washington, University of Minnesota, Penn, and Ohio State University. Several others have stayed close and are UCI PhD students. We’re competitive with placements because we offer strong methodological training, as well as the opportunity for students to see a research project from start to finish under the guidance of a faculty advisor. PhD programs realize that our students come in well-prepared, understanding the research process, and able to jump right in to their program.
David R. Schaefer, Ph.D.
Professor of Sociology
Director, Masters in Demographic & Social Analysis